Daily Israel Report

Debts Overwhelm Gush Katif Expellee, Lead to Suicide Attempt

Juggling his expulsion-related debts overwhelmed one ex-Gush Katif man on Wednesday, finally leading him to decide that death was easier than life.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 1/21/2010, 10:20 AM / Last Update: 1/21/2010, 10:39 AM

Israel news photo

The pressures of trying to juggle the soaring expenses of a shrinking economy on the bare-bones budget of a Gush Katif expellee finally overwhelmed one man Wednesday night, leading to a suicide attempt.

He survived because a special police unit and two community leaders rushed to the house, arriving in time to convince him that he could still build a future. The process took more than an hour.

The former Gush Katif resident who now lives in Moshav Mavkiim, between Gaza and Ashkelon, once owned his own beautiful home and a thriving, successful business. But the struggle to live on a scant income finally became too much. Death was easier.

The man had invested in an agricultural business with the nearly all the funds he received after the 2005 disengagement/expulsion, and the debts had simply overwhelmed him.

The head of the local community council, Yair Farajun, and the head of the municipal department of Social Services, Meoziah Segal, both raced to the scene to calm the man and his family.

“The Ashkelon Coast Regional Council community supports, maintains and works on behalf of its residents, the expellees of Gush Katif,” Farajun said. “However, we have ignored the emotional and economic crisis experienced by the expellees. We need to free up resources to help these people. Even a council member, a community leader, can reach the breaking point. The council will do everything that it can to help this man and his family.”

Segal warned that there is an urgent need to transfer funds for treatment of the expellees. “This is a classic case of a successful man from Gush Katif who lost his home and his business,” he said. “The loss was too much to take. Anyone who supports cutbacks on resources and budgets for treatment in this population simply has no heart.”